Youth Committee Leaders

Tara Zia

Tara Zia is a high school senior at Maret School in Washington DC. She has been a member of the youth committee since 2016 and has been involved in each of its fundraising events since then (from the annual movie screenings and 5k runs to local outreach and in-school events). Tara also participated on both of the youth service trips to Jordan (2018) and Lebanon (2019) and led a fundraising initiative for MAPS upon her return from Lebanon.  Tara loves the youth committee and the overall mission of Project Turquoise deeply and since becoming co-leader of the youth committee in 2020 has worked to adapt fundraising to the pandemic (by designing masks rather than t-shirts and helping organize webinars over in-person screenings). Outside of PT, Tara is the captain of her school’s debate team and editor of an in-school literary magazine where she loves using the power of words to hone her advocacy skills. In her free time Tara also enjoys playing tennis on her school team and writing poetry.


Cyrus Horst

Cyrus Horst is a Senior at Sidwell Friends High School in Washington, DC. He has been with the Youth Committee since its founding in 2016, and has organized fundraising and advocacy events both locally and abroad. Having participated in the Youth Trips and spending time in many local refugee communities, Cyrus has extensive experience interacting face-to-face with Syrian refugees, and emphasizes empathy above all else in his service work. Since becoming co-leader of the Youth Committee in 2020, Cyrus has worked with Youth Committee members to adapt to pandemic restrictions and hurdles, organizing mask sales, grocery campaigns, and a virtual panel discussion with experts on Syria and the refugee crisis to replace PT’s annual Busboys and Poets event. At his High School, Cyrus is the captain of his lacrosse team and co-leads a variety of political and economic clubs and publications. Cyrus hopes to study Middle Eastern Affairs in college, and hopes to use his education and political experience to facilitate conversations that ensure refugee crises of this scale never happen again.